Son of Batman
Son of Batman 2014
It’s time for yet another entry from DC Animation which almost always produce some of my favorite animated superheroes. This time around it’s a story that I wasn’t familiar with at all, which as the title suggests is about the son of Batman. If you’ve seen Dark Knight Rises, or are familiar with what’s happened in the comic books it’s not a big surprise that Batman hooks up with Talia Al Ghul who isn’t always as cutthroat as her father from what I understand. There’s also apparently some deal with how the kid is born in the first place in the comics but it’s mostly glossed over in this movie. Anyway, the League of Shadows is in trouble so Talia takes her son Damian to meet his heretofore unknown father who just so happens to be Batman for a little father and son bonding time. Of course, being raised within the League of Shadows isn’t without its downfalls and there’s also the matter at hand where Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke has killed Ra’s Al Ghul and Damian is looking for revenge and is not above killing, which obviously doesn’t sit well with Batman. Anyway it’s a fun movie and continues a similar look from Justice League: War and also a similar mix of blood and occasional humor which I enjoyed as usual.
Honestly the biggest hurdle for me to get past in this movie wasn’t a major one, but while it’s generally accepted that Batman has a superhuman level of fighting skills, strength, and pain tolerance, I had a much harder time accepting that a 10 to 12 year old boy has essentially the same level of skill and strength as his father. Fairly early on he’s fighting an extremely large and well muscled thug named Ubu and they have the typical moment where they clash sword against ninja claws and appear to be evenly matched in strength which I just didn’t buy. I can accept that Damian would be more agile and even more skilled than Ubu, but I just don’t believe that he would come even close in a strength match against this guy. And later on in the movie he basically has a knife go completely through his forearm and continues to fight as if it barely even happened. League of Shadows training or not, those moments were a little too far fetched for me.
Aside from the Mary Sue quality of Damian, everything else in the movie is exactly what I come to expect from a DC Animated feature like this. I enjoyed all of the voices in the movie. They kept Jason O’Mara from Justice League: War as the voice of Batman and I enjoyed him quite a bit in the movie. I thought Stuart Allan as the voice of young master Damian did well enough at playing both the occasionally petulant and entitled youth and the skilled young protege. I was a little surprised to learn that the voice of Slade Wilson was Thomas Gibson, who I know best as Greg from Dharma and Greg. He really pulled off the menacing arrogance that fit the character well. I also thought the animation looked great as usual. It always surprises me how much violence is able to be put in these movies, but I also always quite enjoy it, and there’s quite a few bloody battles throughout as well as a slightly gory scene involving Killer Croc. Unfortunately, I never quite clicked with the design of Batman’s mask. There was just something about it that felt a little too sleek to me.
What I did enjoy quite a bit from this movie was the interactions between the characters. I quite liked Damian’s growth throughout the movie even though it was fairly obvious how it would turn out in the end. I also enjoyed Talia Al Ghul here, she was able to kick some major ass, has some definite feelings towards Batman, but also still has that darker side inherited from her father shown especially when it’s revealed that she did drug him back during their night together. There were also a few very fun moments between Alfred and Damian as well as Nightwing and Damian. Though it never got funnier than the quick line “I’ll drive.” “No.” “But I know how!” “No!” as well as the call back. Throughout the movie there’s also a bit of a B story about a doctor creating mutagen to make half man half animal soldiers including a flying monkey at one point. Unfortunately, even though it is technically the driving force for a good chunk of the plot, it didn’t feel as interesting or as focused upon as Damian’s character arc. But it doesn’t detract from the overall enjoyability of this movie, and while I doubt it will make my top 10 animated DC movies, it’s still a solid entry and worth a watch as always. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.